Party at London’s Park Plaza Westminster: 19 October 2017

The winners of the DADI Awards (or more formally, the Drum Awards for Digital Industries) were announced at a glitzy event that brought together the brightest and best from the forefront of digital media and creation.

Open internationally to any advertiser or agency producing sufficiently innovative or compelling work, these awards give great businesses the recognition they deserve. For over ten years the DADIs have rewarded digital excellence, in everything from app development to consumer products, or advertising through paid search or social media, online display or VR. Led by founder and organiser Phil Jones, the 2017 DADI judging panel had a particularly difficult time in selecting the winners from this year’s impressive range of entries.

Best-in-Class for Digital Media Strategy

In a tough awards category featuring nine compelling entries, our client DNAFit was awarded the Highly Commended accolade for digital media strategy. The DNAFit campaign focused on the client’s key objectives, with the creation of a bespoke social media strategy which was supported by a highly effective dynamic remarketing exercise. The top accolade in this category was awarded to Lad Bible Group for their Redefining Lad campaign.

The future looks bright in the independent agency landscape

… so say the findings of The Drum’s 2017 census of independent agencies. This annual research piece is a comprehensive survey of the financial performance of nearly 200 independent agencies operating in the UK. It looks at specific participating agencies and at what they convey about the sector as a whole in terms of turnover shifts, employment levels, profits achieved and more. The key finding this year was the significant positive movement in turnover: a year-on-year growth in turnover had been achieved by 80% of all the agencies who took part, which was up on last year’s figure of 77%.

Space & Time Media ranks #1 in the (51-99) staff category for Turnover per Head and overall Turnover

Among the many findings of this year’s Drum census was the delightful news that Space and Time Media topped the rankings for two separate categories. Among agencies with 51-99 members of staff, the agency was number one for turnover per head and for overall turnover.

Space and Time Chairman Peter Jones and Head of SEO Donal Logan recently attended a panel discussion held to mark the release of the survey results. The panel was led by thought leaders from across the independent agency space, including Mark Jackson of MC&C, Simon Martin of Oliver Group and Martin Woolley of The Specialist Works.

As might be anticipated, the panel agreed that independent agencies have a few substantial advantages over the big networks. Independent agencies are well trusted by their clients, a trust forged in part from the agencies’ assiduous focus on transparency; they are not constrained by trade relationships with the media and can be more creative and flexible in designing campaigns.

Looking to the future, the panel identified an increasing trend towards greater levels of collaboration among independent agencies, with clients benefiting from the seamless integration of first-rate bespoke services provided by a range of specialist agencies. This is an approach that makes a good deal of sense to an increasing range of advertisers: why should any client want to settle for one jack-of-all-trades agency rather than assemble a team of true specialists?

Despite the looming uncertainties of Brexit and the impact it is already having on hiring decisions in particular, the panel found that many independents are looking abroad for their own growth and acquisition opportunities.

Generally, the panel agreed that the future is bright for independent agencies: across the sector there is an increasing capacity to pull top talent from network agencies, because of the quality of the environment offered, the strength of the career opportunities available and the potential for talented people within this sector to truly deliver what a client wants. This is certainly true at Space and Time Media.